Van Staal reel line fix with Lou Caruso

I read with great interest your replies of what you liked the most in the current issue of the Surfcaster’s Journal Magazine and not for selfish reasons. I am truly interested to know what our readers like. And I am glad there is such a broad range of topic and columns you guys cant get enough of.

On a purely selfish and personal level, I was surprised that so many mentioned Montauk Time & Tide videos. I often wonder if that is something people actually watch or is something that is dear to my heart for purely personal readers. I did get a very nice email from a gentlemen in Florida who thank me profusely for capturing part of the history that we will obviously lose in time. Because like great Vito Orlando always say, “Time and Tide waits for no man”. By the way, neither does Vito when is time to fish ๐Ÿ™‚

But anyway, thank you for your kind words about all our writers, columnist and yes, even this videographer on the keyboard.

Speaking of videos..many of you have a Van Staal reel. A lot of you have many and from a personal experience I can tell you that there are not many issues with these reels if they are regularly maintained. Yes, I think we’d all prefer a drag that was a little more flexible from the totally tight to lose but you got to admit that the reel is solid. And them moving their production to China proved all the nayseyers wrong as there is no quality issues whatsoever that I am aware of between home or abroad made reels. Their rep, Craig VanStaalmo is always available for inquiry and super helpful. The only thing that bugs most people is the way the line lays on the spool in hourglass fashion.

Now lets be honest, I don’t know anyone who has lost a fish because of this. But it might bother you and we have an easy fix for you. Actually, “we” being our awesome rod columnist Lou Caruso. My skill level ends where his begins when it comes to tinkering with gear. But lets see him edit a video? better if we stick to our strengths I guess

This video was featured in past issue of the Surfcaster’s Journal Magazine at You can log into your account and go to ARCHIVES and get access to all past issues, articles and video. You don’t need a lathe to do this, drill and a buddy, kid or Da Wife (this might cost you) should suffice.


5 comments on “Van Staal reel line fix with Lou Caruso

  1. unkaharry

    Selfish? Are You nutss?Time and Tide, gives us all a taste of a time and place alot of us might never have heard of, we get to see and her it from the horses mouth.Your film work is realy somethin else.You have put together a groupe of writers and fisherman that are some of the best on the planet.I’ve been fishing since 1954,we spent summers fihing the Shinnecock bay,it was pristine. But at 64 I’ve only been surf fishing since 2005,and have become a stone cold bass junkie. Your filling the gap brother and as painfull as it is to know that I was right there but I missed the boat,it’s important to know what was in order to know what will be.Man I was right there,you could have been filming my story. Anyway.THANKS to you and the whole staff of SURF CASTERS J kEEP DOIN WHAT YOUR DOIN SLEEP WHEN YOUR DEAD THANKS

  2. Adam

    Thanks for getting my pork rind modification in!
    when the spool is humped i always add more line to top it off.
    Otherwise I feel like my casts are shorter. never a wind knot either

  3. Tim Allard

    What you can do to improve on this further is to work out how much line you actually fish with (say 100yards) and contour the line on the reel like Lou does until you get to say 125 yards from the end then just wind the rest of the line on the spool using the reel. You should end up with the line nice and flat on the spool. If you donโ€™t then strip it all off and repeat Louโ€™s process but hump it more or less as necessary then wind the last 125 yards of line back on the spool using the reel until you get the flat profile on the spool. You might have to do this several times and sometimes use a reverse hour glass profile rather than a hump! This is an old trick by the way used by tournament casters years ago before we had the modern reels that lay the line flat. John Holden’s book “Long Distance Casting” has some excellent pictures of this.


  4. woodwker99

    At the risk of VS wrath, A reel costing as much as they do should be made where doing this isn’t necessary.
    it’s a matter of gearing. the spool spends too long a pause at the top and bottom of it’s stroke.
    This doesn’t happen(to my knowledge) to Zbaas. When it happens to Penn you can shim the spool so it doesn’t. ( and if necessary send it back to them and they will correct it).
    Again a reel of this cost they should be able to correct this issue. Really .
    I’m thinking I’ll stick to Penn. Just my 2 pennies.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *